I feel obligated to preface this review with a bold statement: I’m not a fan of vanilla Angry Birds. The original Angry Birds leaves a lot to be desired, and while AB: Seasons tried to mix things up a bit, it ultimately felt the same. Other than the designs for the titular adorable feathered fiends, there really isn’t a whole lot there to justify all of the hype it’s receieved over the past year.
Thankfully, Angry Birds Rio proves that Rovio has a few tricks up their sleeve.
Angry Birds Rio follows the same “bite sized level based” scheme of the Angry Birds series, albeit with a few twists. Rio features sixty levels spanning [currently, pre-updates] two “acts”, both of which are markedly different than Angry Bird’s typical pallette swap during level transitions. Act One tasks the birds with freeing the star of the feature film, Blu, and friends from the evil Cockatoo Nigel. While it isn’t a completely new concept, it is refreshing to not see the same monotonous green pig enemy over and over.
In addition to the new setup, unlike the original Angry Birds, the level designs are much more solid this time around, and never really feel impossible or luck based. You’ll have pretty much all of the different types of birds at the very beginning as well, instead of slowly ramping up with the same types, which helps vary the gameplay a bit.
Act Two features villanous monkeys instead of cages, and even culminates in a boss battle against Nigel himself. While the boss mechanic is only on one level, it really demonstrates the versatility of the Angry Birds engine – in other words, it’s not just for for flinging pixels at static targets for hours on end: an entire adventure style game could easily be on the horizon from Rovio. While the main game will only last you two to three hours, with listed updates in May, July, October, and November on the horizon, there’s bound to be more gameplay variations. There are also more trophies to earn, and a few hidden secrets that are a bit more robust than the original.
If you absolutely hated the original Angry Birds, AB: Rio isn’t really going to sway you into becoming a fan; but if you at least had *some* fun with the original, you should most definately come back for more, especially at the .99 price point.
Gamer Limit gives Angry Birds Rio a 9.0/10
You can buy it here